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A guide to how often you should test your blood sugar levels

by , 12 October 2017
A guide to how often you should test your blood sugar levels
How often you test your blood sugar levels depends on a number of different factors. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that you test your blood sugar levels at least three times a day if you need multiple insulin injections every day.

If you have type 2 diabetes, how often you test your blood sugar levels should be dictated by your particular needs and goals, the ADA says. This means that if you have type 1 diabetes, you need to monitor your blood sugar levels frequently, while if you have type 2 diabetes, you have a little wiggle room.

Here are four factors you should consider when determining how often you should test your blood sugar levels, particularly if you have type 2 diabetes.

Four factors that affect how often you should test your blood sugar levels

#1: Your blood sugar levels at diagnosis
Like people with type 1 diabetes, if you have high blood sugar levels when you’re diagnosed, you’ll need to test more often. According to the ADA, your blood sugar before a meal should be in the range of 70 mg/dL to 130 mg/dL. After a meal, it should be less than 180 mg/dL.
 
#2: Oral medication that you’re on
Some types of oral medication can cause hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar. Depending on the class of oral drug you’re on, you may need to test your blood sugar levels more often. “Generally, anyone who takes insulin should test several times a day, as well as individuals who take sulfonylureas or meglitinides,” says Nadine Uplinger, a spokesperson for the ADA.

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#3: Changes in your diet and lifestyle
If you’ve started a new type of diet or changed some other lifestyle factors – for example, you’re exercising more or less often, or you’ve lost or picked up weight – you should test your blood sugar levels more frequently. “Individuals who are changing their treatment regimen should test several times a day,” adds Uplinger.
 
#4: Your history of blood sugar control
The ADA recommends that people who are meeting their treatment targets get haemoglobin A1C tests done by their doctor twice a year. For people who aren’t meeting their goals or whose therapy has changed, the AFA recommends haemoglobin A1C testing four times a year.
 
These guidelines should help you determine how often you should be testing your blood sugar levels.

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